Volume 28, Issue 1 (2022)

Dalila ElKerdany, Ph. D. - Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt

Between your hands is a very rich issue from the Architecture and Planning Journal (APJ). Its subjects are covering a wide range from architecture design, futuristic architecture, qualities of urban spaces, regeneration and revival of abandoned sites, urban mobility, and restoration. Functions like residential, recreational, and economic activities among others are discussed in this issue. While reading, you will be taken to journeys between France, Austria, Lebanon, and Egypt. However, applications to the issue concepts and conclusions are not tied to a certain local and could be valid for a wider area.

In the field of Architecture Design, we have two research papers. The first is of Rayan Zankar, Lana El Kaaki, and Jameel Fares who are discussing the advantages and disadvantages of circular design in residential buildings, while proposing innovative design methods tackling modules, structure systems, vertical and horizontal circulation, services, external walls, etc. They take us to case studies in France and Austria. The second is of Fatima Ghosn, Ayman Afify, Hiba Mohsen, and Maged Youssef, in which they are proposing a set of design approaches applying the philosophy of metamorphosis to revive abandoned buildings through targeting transformations from within. The paper case study highlights reused abandoned buildings in Beirut, Lebanon. In the field of futuristic architecture, Hasan Alhaj, Lena Hosni, and Rana Ghannoum highlight the significant role of cinematic architecture in the society. Their paper analyses two movies; Tron Legacy, 2010, and the Avatar, 2009. It demonstrates the link between movie and architecture, which convey the complex intentions and aspirations for cities through architectural elements and signifiers.

In the field of qualities of urban spaces, this issue presents three papers. The first is by Reem Al-Zein, where she investigates the role of public spaces and places in improving cultural resilience, production, and liveability of a neighbourhood, The case study highlights the role of public spaces in recovering the cultural image and social activities in Beirut. In the second paper, Lena Hosni, Ayman Afify, Hiba Mohsen, and Maged Youssef take Taamir District in Saida, Lebanon as their case study, where they propose guidelines to upgrade the open public spaces in this informal settlement, focussing on the residents’ quality of life in terms of economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and socio-cultural issues. The third paper in this field is by Nehmat Khalil Karim, where she tries developing design guidelines for flexible open spaces that could achieve urban resilience in densely populated areas using green technology in a way that ensures balance between the aesthetic aspects of spaces and the needs and perceptions of residents. The paper highlights the use of the participatory design approach in facilitating sustainable development for physically damaged and congested historic Beirut’s neighbourhoods.

In the field of regeneration and revival of abandoned sites; we have two papers. The first paper is for Malek Demashkieh, in which he suggests an urban strategy that can revive neglected Beirut riverfront areas while transforming them into healthy social spaces through recreational facilities that in a way provides sustainable cultural connection with the city and preserves its identity. The second paper examines brownfield. It is by Ahmad Saadeh. He discusses sustainable economic development ways and techniques to regenerate brownfields and at the same time targets cultural, social, and environmental benefits to a much suffering communities facing economic recession.

In the field of urban mobility, we have two research papers. The first is by Boushra Naim and Mary Felix, where they focus on cycling as an urban peculiarity. The research is concerned with road lattices, cycle paths, and safety. The outcomes are valuable for planning, and execution, and security issues influencing the quantity of bike users in urban communities.

The second paper is by Marwa Charkas, where she is concerned with children’s active school traveling. The paper builds an argument about conceptualizing an applicable understanding of wellbeing. Reviewing several approaches, it exploits the capabilities approach to investigate the correlation between children’s active school traveling and their wellbeing. Using the outlines of children’s mobility framework, a set of domains were concluded within three categories specifying the children's movement from home to school and vice versa, and the fourth one is a general category. Two questionnaires were used to validate the paper’s theoretical approach. They were performed to a sample of two schools in Alexandria, Egypt targeting both students and their parents. Last but not least, in the area of restoration, there are two papers. A paper authored by Hoda Zeayter, Ibtihal Y. El-Bastawissi, and Hiba Mohsen discusses the importance of external and internal plastering of the historical sandstone bearing wall, by the mean of a computational tool that underlines the role of the plastering in the hygrothermal behaviour of the historical stone, in the aim to validate the practice of the ancestors in covering the envelope of their buildings to avoid the degradation of these natural stones. The results are in the form of values for the heat and moisture fluxes through the high porosity sandstone assembly that composes the building envelope. These values represent the hygrothermal behaviour of the stone, and they are compared between two cases, one without plastering while the second has the inner and outer layers of traditional plaster. The analysis of the results leads to a conclusion that favours one of the two cases, taking into consideration the interstitial condensation threat avoided by the means of plastering. The second paper is authored by Said Maroun, Mostafa Khalifa, and Nabil Mohareb. They are investigating the collaboration ability among photogrammetry science, Artificial Intelligence Model (AIM) and Architectural Coding to optimize the process for better coverage and scientific approach of data specific to the crack disorders to build a comprehensive model consolidation technique. The paper observes that despite the current technological improvement, the restoration of the monuments is a challenging and lengthy process, where an actual site situation's reignitions consume enormous time, from assessing the damages to establishing the restoration strategy relying on human resource developments and manual drawings.

Although contributors to this issue dealt with varied subjects and locations, one can trace common dominators, which are sustainable development, human comfort, architecture and urban qualities and betterment of life quality. I trust that you will be enjoying and benefiting from reading it.


Hasan Al-Haj, Lena Hosni, and Rana Ghannoum


Lena Hosni, Ayman Afify, Hiba Mohsen, and Maged Youssef


Fatima Ghosn, Ayman Afify, Hiba Mohsen, and Maged Youssef


Boushra Naim and Mary Felix

Cover art